Tesla billionaire Elon Musk mentioned he met with Apple CEO Tim Prepare dinner on Wednesday, including one other chapter to an odd and contentious week between the 2 tech titans.
“Thanks @tim_cook for taking me round Apple’s stunning HQ,” Musk wrote in a tweet, together with a video of a big pond, with two shadows standing within the foreground.
The seemingly benign tweet capped off a number of much less nice missives from Musk, who repeatedly known as out Apple this week, and at occasions Prepare dinner particularly, over claims that the tech big stopped promoting on Twitter, threatened to take away it from its app retailer, and overcharged firms. (Each Apple and Twitter didn’t instantly reply to Fortune’s request for remark.)
On Monday, Musk tweeted that Apple had minimize off most of its promoting on Twitter. Apple was the highest advertiser on Twitter within the first quarter of this 12 months, spending $48 million on adverts, in accordance with the The Washington Submit. Apple adverts accounted for 4% of Twitter’s income that quarter.
“Do they hate free speech in America?” He wrote, including, “What’s occurring right here @tim_cook?”
Twitter has misplaced a number of main advertisers since Musk took over the corporate final month, together with Pfizer, Volkswagen, and Chipotle. Current reporting from tech publication Platformer revealed that weekly advert bookings for the corporate are down almost 50%, and income in Europe, the Center East, and Africa is down 15%.
However promoting is only one a part of Musk’s drawback with Apple. He claimed in one other Monday tweet that the corporate “threatened to withhold” Twitter’s app from its app retailer, however “received’t inform us why.”
Advertisers and corporations have been distancing themselves from Musk’s Twitter since he started implementing modifications on the firm earlier this month, largely in response to Musk’s resolution to chop many of the platform’s content material moderation crew and the ensuing rise of hate speech noticed on the location.
Getting kicked out of the app retailer can be a significant blow to the social media platform, which is already enduring a interval of maximum tumult. Musk has up to now laid off round 50% of Twitter’s employees in an effort to chop prices, with tons of resigning in current weeks as the brand new CEO brings his trademark “hardcore” work ethic and administration fashion to the corporate.
Musk went on to denounce Apple’s “secret 30% tax on all the pieces” in a separate tweet, referring to the proportion of earnings that the corporate takes from app retailer gross sales. Musk might have additionally delayed relaunching the platform’s Twitter Blue subscription service in order that the function may very well be re-tooled as an in-app buy, and keep away from Apple’s payment.
The payment Apple receives from app downloads is well-known amongst tech firms, with Spotify and Fb dad or mum Meta having criticized Apple for the proportion minimize prior to now.
Epic Video games, the writer of fashionable videogame Fortnite, even took Apple to court docket final 12 months over the embedded payment. Epic’s CEO Tim Sweeney has criticized Apple’s mannequin as a “monopoly” and not too long ago sided with Musk on the problems between Apple and Twitter.
“Apple is a menace to freedom worldwide,” Sweeney wrote on Twitter this week. “They preserve an unlawful monopoly on app distribution, they use it to regulate American discourse, and so they’re endangering protesters in China by storing delicate buyer knowledge in a state-owned knowledge middle.”
Billing startup Paddle additionally took Apple to court docket final 12 months over its cost system, and its CEO Christian Owens not too long ago welcomed Musk as an ally of their case. “It factors to how egregious the 30% payment is. I’m glad Elon is within the struggle,” Owens informed Insider this week.
A pondside assembly at Apple HQ will probably not be sufficient for Musk to simply accept Apple’s obtain payment, though Owens and different CEOs dissatisfied with Apple may quickly discover him to not be essentially the most dependable ally.
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